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What makes a good maths teacher?

February3

engaging mathsThe website “Engaging Maths” posts this interesting article;

So, what makes a good mathematics teacher and, if you like your maths teacher will your grades improve? Dr Catherine Attard, from the University of Western Sydney, wrote her PhD thesis on a longitudinal study on engagement in middle years mathematics. She notes,  “early in the study I asked a group of 20 Year 6 students at a Western Sydney school to name the qualities that make a ‘good’ mathematics teacher. The students perceived a good maths teacher to be someone who:

  • is passionate about teaching mathematics;
  • responds to students’ individual needs;
  • gives clear explanations;
  • uses scaffolding rather than providing answers;
  • encourages positive attitudes towards mathematics; and
  • shows an awareness of each students’ prior knowledge.

Catherine AttardThe study followed the same group of students through their transition to high school, and into Year 8. During their time in secondary school, the students’ experiences included a wide range of practices and teachers, and significant exposure to technology within the mathematics classroom (a one-to-one laptop program). Despite being exposed to an integrated curriculum and a school that was purpose built to cater for ‘next-practice’ learning and teaching, it was the teachers and the relationships that were developed within the classroom that had the most significant impact on student engagement in mathematics.” Read more here, including this post from Dr Attard on liking your maths teacher to “get” Mathematics

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